NEW YORK – The Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras visited yesterday and attended the Divine Liturgy at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas in Flushing, NY. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America presided at the Divine Liturgy assisted by the parish priests Fr. Paul Palesty (dean), and Frs. Joakim Valasiadis and Aristidis Garinis. More than a thousand faithful were in attendance.

Boys and girls of the William Spyropoulos Greek American Day School, of the parish welcomed with flowers and smiles the Prime Minister along with their Principal Athena Kromidas and Parish President Nicholas Karakostas.

Shortly before the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Eminence welcomed the Prime Minister  in the congregation and expressed the honor and joy of the parishioners, the lay-leaders and the clergy present. His Eminence spoke of the gospel reading of the day(Luke 6:3-36) and the alive and contemporary messages it offers us as he underlined the verse ‘and just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.’ Upon the dismissal, the Archbishop asked Prime Minister Samaras to offer a few words to the congregation. The Prime Minister praised the Greek Orthodox Community in America for all its achievements and success, mentioning only a few examples of individuals who have made the community proud. He spoke against the phenomena of violence, hate and racism which are incompatible, he said, with our values and principles of Hellenism and Orthodoxy. He further spoke of the unity needed for success and prosperity away from divisiveness and partisanship. He said he was very impressed by the great number of young people and children who as they passed by him to receive Holy Communion gave him hope for the future.

Following the Divine Liturgy, Mr. Samaras had the opportunity to greet individually hundreds of the parishioners, during a reception which followed in the adjacent community center, and as the school choir offered a short musical program.

Article and photo from Mr. Stavros Papagermanos of the Press Office/GOA.